Charlene was born July 27, 1917, and died on November 26, 2013, in Rancho Bernardo at age 96. Charlene led a very active and interesting life. She was a graduate of the University of Michigan with a degree in Nursing. She went to New York City after college to teach nursing at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. Her hobby at this time was exercising polo ponies. She soon married Hans W. Barber who predeceased her in 1998.|
Charlene was gifted as a musician playing professionally for several churches in New England. Her passion was classical music. She enjoyed many musical organizations and events in San Diego with her friends. She attended the Rancho Bernardo Community Presbyterian Church in recent years enjoying their music program. She recently donated all her sheet music to the church.
Charlene received the coveted Margaret Sanger Award in 1994 for her efforts in volunteering with Planned Parenthood. She was a woman ahead of her time with a commitment toward helping and educating women.
Charlene had a love for dogs, raising more than eight of her own. She founded the Pennsylvania Dog Federation which was instrumental in outlawing puppy mills in Pennsylvania. She was a woman who had strong beliefs and sought to achieve much in her lifetime in helping people and animals.
The past few years, Charlene was very active in the Continuing Education Program in Rancho Bernardo. She helped develop the program bringing many talented people to conduct classes. She took as many classes as she could, enjoying all subjects and remaining curious throughout her life.
In her last weeks, she spoke frequently of her many friends and neighbors whom she loved dearly. She wanted to make a difference with everyone she met. No one could have asked for a more interesting and vibrant person to share their time with.
Charlene is survived by her son, Walter Barber and his wife, Ellen, of Bedford, New Hampshire, and their children, Courtney, Patrick and Michael and his wife, Kim; daughter, Gretchen Pagnotta and her husband, Alan, residents of Santaluz, and their sons, Timothy Pagnotta and his wife, Jetta, and Christopher Pagnotta and his wife, Alexis, and their son, (Charlene's great-grandson) Benjamin Pagnotta.
Charlene's sense of curiosity and solving problems has been passed to her grandson, Christopher, who has a distinguished career in computer science. Her passion for music has been passed to Timothy who is a recognized song writer and music producer.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held at a future date.
The family wants to thank Elizabeth Hospice for their loving care in her last days and suggests contributions to be made to this wonderful organization in her name.
Published in the Pomerado News on Dec. 5, 2013